Following an attempt on your life

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Numerous rounds struck the Home Secretary's vehicle, claiming the life of her driver, who's been named as Terence Foyer.
[...]
As a result of the assassination attempt against Home Secretary Julia Montague, the UK Threat Level has been raised to Critical.
[...]

[Julia:] ...it's unsettling not to be allowed back into your own home.
[Her bodyguard:] Following an attempt on your life, ma'am, all protection measures have been ramped up.
(Bodyguard (UK TV series); Episode 2)

Would you be so kind as to explain to me why it is not 'the'?

Thanks.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    He could have said 'the' but I guess he's not ruling out the possibility of another attempt on her life, and so, at this stage, it's just one attempt of possibly several.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    He's basically saying "when something like this happens". Something like what? Something like an attempt on your life. Despite the existence of the actual specific occurrence, he's almost generalising to the level at which it would just be a hypothetical example.
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Thank you!

    Have I understood it correctly that it is subject to at least a couple of interpretations ('a' is not called indefinite for nothing after all:))?

    Thanks.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I find it odd, I must admit.

    I wouldn't have had a problem with it if the sentence had been
    Following an attempt on your life, ma'am, all protection measures have to be ramped up.


    ....

    PS. I haven't watched The Bodyguard yet, but I'm going to, I'm going to....
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I wouldn't have had a problem with it if the sentence had been
    Following an attempt on your life, ma'am, all protection measures have to be ramped up.
    Following an attempt on your life, ma'am, all protection measures have been ramped up.
    Did you mean the colored parts affect the usage of the article here? If so, how, please?
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It's just that I would see

    Following an attempt on your life, ma'am, all protection measures have to be ramped up.

    as a general statement, akin to Whenever there's an attempt...
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm just saying that I can't see the rationale for "an" in the original sentence as in post 1: I would, like Suprun, have expected "the".
     
    Last edited:
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